Climate Change Causing 'Shift' in Corporate Mindsets: U.N.

Monaco – There is a shift in corporate mindsets around the world caused by climate change and its potential impacts, according to a new United Nations publication released Wednesday.

The UN Environment Program’s Year Book 2008 illustrates how more business leaders are beginning to view climate change as an opportunity, rather than as a liability. This change in mindset, coupled with a healthy flow of funding into environmental technologies, is leading to the emergence of a green economy.

“Hundreds of billions of dollars are now flowing into renewable and clean energy technologies and trillions more dollars are waiting in the wings looking to governments for a new and decisive climate regime post 2012 alongside the creative market mechanisms necessary to achieve this,” UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said in a statement.

The report found that both corporate social responsibility reporting and responsible investing have taken off in recent years, while more company today view environmental stewardship as a way to improve the bottom line. Carbon intensive industries are leading the way in disclosing their carbon footprint and performance, while adaptation will prove vital for maturing market mechanisms.

Challenges, however, remain that could slow the momentum. Subsidies that favor fossil fuels over clean energy, for instance, are embedded in the global economy, while some tariffs make clean technologies more expensive than their conventional counterparts.

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